Posted by Mindy


Fifty years ago today Martin Luther King, Jr. presented his “I have a dream speech.” Without Mahalia Jackson present, though, the speech wouldn’t have taken shape as it did. King, trusting his friend Mahalia, knew that she would be just the right lead-in to his speech. Mahalia, comfortable with him recommending what would be the introduction to perhaps the most important speech of his life, sang the gospel classic, “I’ve Been ‘Buked, and I’ve Been Scorned.”

The story has been told that Mahalia, who had stood on the podium many times while King had spoken, realized the power of the moment, and suggested to King, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” He then left his prepared speech notes and spoke extemporaneously the speech which has gone down in history: “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream….”